Tuesday Seminar – October 1, 2019
1 October 2019 • 12:00 1 October 2019 • 13:00
Pavillon Lionel-Groulx, Local C-4145
Tuesday October 1, 2019: Peter Loewen (University of Toronto). “Intrinsic Motivations to Represent Marginalized Groups in a Democracy: Evidence from an unelected legislature”. Pavillon Lionel-Groulx, Université de Montréal, C-4145, 12h-13h.
Title: Intrinsic Motivations to Represent Marginalized Groups in a Democracy: Evidence from an Unelected Legislature
Abstract: Do legislators from marginalized groups have intrinsic motivations to represent ‘their’ group? Previous observational and experimental research on this question focuses on elected politicians and is thus unable to fully disentangle a legislator’s intrinsic motivations from their need to win re-election. We address this limitation by observing the decision-making of appointed legislators who, by institutional design, have no re-election motive whatsoever. We administered to Canadian senators and their staff a novel survey instrument that captured how they prioritized learning about the policy opinions of various groups of citizens. We show that senators’ group identities—particularly those associated with racial and regional minorities— influenced which group’s views they chose to learn about. The findings refine the central conclusion of the literature and have implications for the study not only of unelected legislators but also of elected officials in settings where public monitoring is weak.
This content has been updated on 1 October 2019 at 19 h 00 min.